The Pathway Home – FFfAW

The Pathway Home

It had been a sacred place for as long as anyone could remember. The stones pulsed with an awesome, deep-rooted power. Some said the gods had blessed them; others believed the stones were cursed. Only Grainne knew the truth.

She knelt on the large flat stone, her heartbeat in unison with its rhythmic throb. Around her the forest trees shivered, anticipating something extraordinary…something their boughs would remember for generations to come.

‘Arawn,’ she whispered, pressing her brow to the cool, grey stone. ‘I’ve endured two hundred years in the world of humankind. Let me return…’

The stones rumbled but Grainne did not move. ‘I won’t go till you let me through! I never meant to hurt you. I still love you!’

The rocks groaned and shifted, creating a fissure in the earth below. Grainne dropped from the stone and into the widening gap.

‘Return to me, beloved,’ the god of the otherworld murmured. ‘You’ve paid the price for turning your back on our ways. Our people want their queen back…

And so do I.’

***

Word Count: 175

Note: After reading a couple of comments that made me smile, I’ve decided to fish out my judge’s wig and reconsider Grainne’s case…

On this occasion, I’ve decided to show lenience and reduce her sentence to 200 years. Even an immortal would probably go bonkers living with the dreaded humans for 2,000 years! 😀

This is my story for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, a writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. It asks us to write a story from a given photo prompt in 100-150 words, give or  take 25. If you’d like to join in, follow the above link to see what to do. The challenge runs from Tuesday – Tuesday every week.

This week’s prompt was kindly provided by Pamela S. Canepa

To read other stories or add a story yourself, click on the little blue frog:

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About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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33 Responses to The Pathway Home – FFfAW

    • milliethom says:

      Hi Joycelin. It’s great to see you here! I hope you’re keeping well. (I know your painting is going brilliantly and that you’re enjoying it a lot.) We must catch up at some stage. Thank you for liking my story.

      • Hi Millie – yes, I’m good. Thank you. I am writing you a letter – long one. It will finish soon. I love all your stories. xx

      • milliethom says:

        I would love to hear from you and catching up on things, Joycelin. I was wondering recently whether your mum was still staying with you and how your new job is going. I’ll look forward to your email! ❤

  1. draliman says:

    That’s quite an exile, but I guess she’s done her time 🙂

  2. wow!! that’s long enough!! Great tale!

  3. leggypeggy says:

    High price to pay. Nice work.

    • milliethom says:

      I agree, Peggy, the sentence was a bit harsh. I’m considering going back in and letting her off earlier for good behaviour. Perhaps just a thousand years would be better. Lol (I’m not feeling that lenient.) 😀

  4. Beautifully intriguing tale Millie. This is awesome ! 🙂

  5. milliethom says:

    Thank you for such a lovely comment, Holly. 🙂

  6. Short and strong story. You still keep the readers’ attention up till the end. Love it. I miss writing Flash Fiction. Just no time to sit down and write. I’m still doing my Friday writing. How did your third book go/end?

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you Ineke. Lovely to hear from you again and I know what you mean about writing flash fiction. I write so few stories now. To think I used to do four different challenges a week at one time! I still haven’t finished my third book, unfortunately. I’m well on with it now, but so much has happened in the lat eighteen months (family illness and such like) that writing and blogging was on hold for some time. Life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes.

      • Yes, I agree with life gets in the way at times. I hope the family are better/over their illness because it is not always easy to help under circumstances. I am glad anyway to be healthy and still on the go more than ever. You have to look after yourself too. One day there will be more time to write to your hearts delight.

  7. I love this story Millie! It is an unusual but wonderful love story. Yes, wonderful!

    • milliethom says:

      Hi, PJ. I know I’m a bit of a stranger to your challenge nowadays, but I try to write a story as often as I can. So much is going on in my family at the moment (nothing to do with my writing) and I don’t seem to have a spare minute to do the things I should be doing on some days. That’s life, I suppose.
      Thank you for the great comment. I wrote two other stories for this one, too, but thought this would suit the picture best. 🙂

  8. A very befitting story for this picture.
    Good one Millie.

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks Chioma. I don’t seem to manage many stories recently, but I enjoyed writing this one. As I said to PJ. It was the third story I wrote for the prompt. I suppose the other two could be adapted for something else at some stage.
      I’ve been on and off my blog for a long time now, so I’m out of touch with everyone. I hope all is well with you and your family down there in the south. I’ll get over to your blog and have a read as soon as I can. 🙂

  9. James says:

    For Persephone, it’s only six months at a stretch, but it repeats annually.

    • milliethom says:

      Hi James! Yes, Persephone’s six-monthly stretches in the underworld seem a lot less unkind than the lengthy sentence I inflicted on Grainne! I think I must have been in a bad mood when I wrote the story! But in all seriousness, I had it in mind that Time means much less to an immortal than to a human, and such a long punishment would be fitting. I’ve already changed the sentence from 2,000 to 200 years, so I’ll have to leave it at that. (I suppose it’s a good job I’m not a judge. 😀 )

  10. MG WELLS says:

    Thanks for sharing. Enjoyed this post. Have a great day.

  11. milliethom says:

    Thanks MG. I’m in the dining room at a hotel near York at the moment, and trying to do do a little here and there on my laptop before we head back to our room – where there is no internet connection! (How primitive is that?) I really can’t work from my phone, so I’m destined to be doomed once we move form here! I’ll be home by weekend so it will be catch up time again. 😀

  12. Enjoyable read. Nice interplay of the stone and the trees in anticipation.

  13. reocochran says:

    I like this fateful story of Grainne. This seems very definitely hauntingly sad, Mille. It would go back to the date of gods and druins, I am guessing? I loved it and how you met the challenge! The pathway home is a great title. ~Robin

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